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History Professor Named SUNY Civic Education and Engagement and Civil Discourse Fellow


In her U.S. History and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion courses, through her role as a mentor, and as co-host and producer of SUNY Schenectady’s Many Voices, One Call podcast, Dr. Babette Faehmel has engaged students, fellow faculty, and members of the community in important discussions where differing viewpoints can be examined and explained. She was recently chosen to broaden her work in the area of civil discourse as a member of SUNY’s inaugural class for the Civic Education and Engagement and Civil Discourse Fellowship. As SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. recently announced, Dr. Faehmel was one of the 10 fellows selected to advance SUNY’s shared commitment to civic engagement as an essential outcome of higher education and promote civil discourse among students, faculty, and staff across campus communities.

Dr. Babette Faehmel smiling

“SUNY’s colleges and universities have long been bastions of civic engagement and civil discourse where students learn to become better, more engaged citizens as part of the path to academic achievement,” Chancellor King said. “Each of the 10 fellows have extraordinary accomplishments and their collective experiences will help ensure SUNY continues to lead in promoting civic engagement across the system and inspiring generations of socially responsible SUNY graduates.”

Dr. Babette Faehmel in recording studio with podcast guests

Dr. Faehmel, with Many Voices, One Call co-host Alexandre Lumbala and guests during a recording of the episode, “Peace, Salaam, Shalom: Connecting Across Our Differences in a War-Ravaged World.”

Professor Faehmel, a member of the Liberal Arts Faculty, has revised her U.S. History resources to incorporate information literacy and a stronger focus on historical, political, cultural, and legal forces that both encourage and discourage diversity, inclusion, and equity in the U.S. Her course assignments ask students to draw connections between past and current events and to analyze power and cultural dynamics. 

In addition to impacting students in the classroom, Professor Faehmel has served as the College’s Student Mentoring Program Coordinator and as an Early College Mentor. She used her work with students in both programs to build civic literacy skills early in their academic careers. She also has a track record of working with local activists and organizations engaging in deliberative dialogue across differences. 

Dr. Faehmel actively engages faculty and staff from across SUNY campuses to deliver civic education opportunities and she is committed to viewpoint diversity and communication skills as a means of mending partisan divisions. 

The SUNY fellows will:

  • Foster the development of and facilitate a faculty/staff Community of Practice focused on civic education and engagement.
  • Gather and amplify resources for faculty to use when developing content for SUNY’s new U.S. History and Civic Education and Engagement general education requirement.
  • Develop and co-lead a learning convening in Fall 2024 to showcase SUNY activities, including highlighting intersections between civic education and engagement and other topics like sustainability.
  • Help inform a civic education and engagement strategic plan while assisting in the identification of data needs and data gathering.
  • Coordinate with campus Student Government representatives on civic education and engagement matters.

The 10 SUNY fellows selected for the inaugural class of the Civic Education and Engagement and Civil Discourse Fellowship are:

  • Angie Chung, Professor of Sociology, University at Albany
  • Babette Faehmel, Professor of History, Liberal Arts Division, SUNY Schenectady
  • Angela Graves, Assistant Professor of Global and Diversity Studies, Alfred State College
  • Ashley Mercado-Liegi, Assistant Director of the Center for Civic Justice, Stony Brook University
  • Nirav Patel, Instructor of Environmental Studies, Binghamton University
  • Laura Rao, Director of the Katherine S. Conway-Turner Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Buffalo State University
  • Joseph Scanlon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Monroe Community College
  • John Suarez, Director of the Institute for Civil Engagement, SUNY Cortland
  • Amy Werbel, Professor of Art History and Museum Professions, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Jean Yang, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry